LM NEWS 24
LM NEWS 24

US Flexing Military Muscles In South China Sea: Beijing

Despite a change at the White House with a new commander-in-chief, tensions between Washington and Beijing continued to escalate with China slamming US military deployment in the South China Sea saying that President Joe Biden-led administration is doing so to “flex its muscles.”

Speaking at the regular press briefing, Zhao Lijian, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, slammed the US for sending an aircraft carrier strike group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt to the South China Sea to promote “freedom of the seas”.

“It does no good to regional peace and stability for the United States to frequently send military vessels and aircraft to the South China Sea to show off muscles,” Zhao said.

He further said, “We urge the US side to earnestly abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques, prudently and properly handle Taiwan-related issues, and refrain from sending any wrong signals to the “Taiwan independence” forces so as to avoid damaging China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”

On January 23, the US Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) had announced, the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG) entered the South China Sea on January 23 to conduct routine operations.

The TRCSG consists of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), Destroyer Squadron 23, and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Russell (DDG 59) and USS John Finn (DDG 113).

This comes days after China passed a law that gives power to its coastguard to fire on foreign vessels and demolish structures built in disputed waters, South China Morning Post reported.

China’s top legislative body, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, on Friday passed the coastguard law that empowers the coastguard to use “all necessary means” to deter threats posed by foreign vessels in waters “under China’s jurisdiction”. It will also allow the coastguards to launch pre-emptive strikes without prior warning if commanders deem it necessary.

The SCMP reported that it is yet to ascertain whether the law will be applied to all waters claimed by Beijing, which has a number of competing claims with its neighbours in the East and South China Seas.

Meanwhile, Taipei on Sunday expressed gratitude to the US for its commitment of “rock-solid support” against China’s coercion after the United States expressed plans to strengthen ties with Taiwan under President Joe Biden’s administration.

“We sincerely thank US State Department for its rock-solid support of democratic of Taiwan in the face of Beijing’s ongoing coercion. Based on shared values and interests, we are committed to our partnership with the United States in furthering peace and stability in the Indo Pacific,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan said in a tweet amid Beijing’s growing belligerence. (ANI)

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